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Inflatable vs non.......?


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Just came across this video - the guy makes some sense.

Caveats: there are better inflatables than the 1 he demonstrates. And inflatables are okay in sheltered waters where your crew can pick you up? But maybe not if you're sailing solo - sheltered or not?

And yes, don't fall off the boat in the freeking first place!! HARNESS is your best friend (and not one that runs down by the stanchions - getting hung up over the rails doesn't sound like fun.

 

Interested in your thoughts as I'm not experienced in this area. I wear and inflatable.

 

It's an interesting discussion............

 

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Yep, get one that fits properly. Everything is a compromise. The warmth can be an issue, but better a jacket that you are more likely to wear (on deck!) than one you are not. The one he likes would not pass cat 1 - its a buoyancy vest. For an offshore lifejacket, get one that fits properly, and has a spray hood, as well as the standard Knife, Whistle, light, and rescue device - AIS SART or PLB,,,

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And yes, don't fall off the boat in the freeking first place!! HARNESS is your best friend (and not one that runs down by the stanchions - getting hung up over the rails doesn't sound like fun.

 

On our first offshore voyage we hired a skipper ( well experienced, recommended by yachting NZ )

 

As the boat owners we gave him responsibility and followed his instructions. We had an agreement that no one went up on deck without calling another up to the cockpit, 24 hours a day. Also that going up on deck meant a harness, inflatable lifejacket which had a strobe, PLB, handheld VHF and whistle etc attached. The "professional" refused to heed any of these "rules", never once put on a harness, never called for a watcher or assistant. Took about 30 seconds to kit up and the gear whilst a little less comfortable than not wearing it would probably be quite comforting if you fell overboard, specially at night.

 

Pretty sad that a YNZ recommended skipper takes such little care regarding safety. 

 

I am a big proponent of the handheld VHF - if your in the water, its dark, and the crew are searching for you, you have a far better chance of seeing the Tricolour than they do of seeing you in the water. I realize range is very limited from water level, but the VHF antenna on the mast is a good way above sea level in most conditions and I have had a crew member talk us back on top of him very easily. We would have had a struggle to find him without that VHF. ( He had a strobe which we very  occasionaly could catch a glimps of and a PLB which could have been used had we not been able to find him  ). Scared everyone though. 

 

Anyway, sorry for getting so far off topic.

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Absolutely agree TT!

 

A VHF, or an AIS SART (I've even seen one now that is both - working on being able to supply that) makes a hell of a lot of sense to me. The best chance of rescue is the boat you came from in many situations - especially offshore.

 

Your skipper was NBG. No-one likes do-as-I say not do-as-I-do.

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No two situations are the same, no two boats the same, and no two passages the same. What will work in one may be certain death in another.

You need to assess the probability of something happening, the consequences of that, and what kit would be most appropriate in consideration of your boat, crew and the type of sailing you are doing.

One size doesn't fit all. Unfortunately sailors (particularly new ones) tend to be a bit sheep like and follow a prescription rather than making an intelligent assessment. A prime example is IT's jacklines.

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As soon as you do your advanced sea survival course and jump in the pool you find out how useless inflatables are without crotch straps.

And, as soon as you wear one with crotch straps , you'll find out how many things you can get hooked up on on deck.

Which then gets you in this cycle of the safety device hauling you up short, and restricting your freedom, potentially even causing an accident. I ended up wearing the straps on the basis of clipping them up properly when you're actually in the water.

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No two situations are the same, no two boats the same, and no two passages the same. What will work in one may be certain death in another.

You need to assess the probability of something happening, the consequences of that, and what kit would be most appropriate in consideration of your boat, crew and the type of sailing you are doing.

One size doesn't fit all. Unfortunately sailors (particularly new ones) tend to be a bit sheep like and follow a prescription rather than making an intelligent assessment. A prime example is IT's jacklines.

Agreed, but what's the matter with my Jackstays??

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Nothing, but the way you attach is different from the norm, yet your reasoning makes sense. The "normal " way - down the lifelines, may work for a crewed boat, not so clever for a single hander. No two situations are the same.

That 1st sentence is a very interesting one. 'Down the lifelines' meaning how exactly?

 

How do you do it IT?

 

I'm just fitting seriously strong achievement points around my boat so if it's unusual but well reasoned I gotta at least suss it.

 

 

And one of the truest things spoken about boating is BP's last sentence. I can't understand why so many think all fit in the same box.

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For me the most important thing is not to go overboard in the first place. In an offshore shorthanded situation the chances of a. being found and b. being recovered are not good. Remember super experienced guys like Rob James and Eric Tabarly, even when crew found them they could not get them onto the boat.

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True. BP I did not think there was much unusual about my jack stays!

 

They are webbing, connected to a strong point on the deck within reach from the cockpit - even when already clipped in to one of the cockpit harness points. They run continuously to the foredeck, right to the bow. The idea is that I ALLWAYS go fwd on the windward side, and can do the whole length of the deck without re-clipping. I can reach the mast etc with the tether length I have. I cannot reach the water - when clipped to the weather side jack stay, which I would be. I very rarely have to change attachment points while on deck.

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Thanks IT. I thought that's exactly what they should be like, it's what I'm targeting and have changed fixing points to allow it to happen easier than before. I'd have a single centreline but the self-tacker stopped that idea, I'd need too much slack.

 

I can see why the video dude doesn't like inflatables. Besides the fact he's got one that isn't legal under YNZ Safety Regs (and I think ISAF also), he's brought a very very expensive one that is not only short on features but he obviously didn't try on first so he's got one that's plainly to small for him. That's a stupid thing to do and for a self proclaimed expert he didn't even mention the vast array of inflatable options we do have, many of which negate the problems he says he has with them. Anyone else get the impression he seems to fall over board a lot :)

 

I'd like to see how he gets back aboard once wet gear kitted with that bulky life jacket on. I suspect he's not thought of that.

 

Like someone mentioned earlier, inflatables will get worn more so surely they have to be better than fixed. Having experienced first hand how dangerous, and fatal, old school fixed life jackets can be you won't find me wearing one on board.

 

But a good video to raise discussion as that will have one or 2 thinking and that can't be a bad thing.

 

I wonder what his theory on colours is. That's something rarely mentioned.

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